My thoughts about photography, SCUBA diving, computers & photography related items

On September 16, 2009, Veronica, Tom and I made our first journey to Mount Vernon Hospital in Mount Vernon, New York. It was here that Tom would start a series of hyperbaric oxygen treatments (HBOT) to help heal his injured brain.

It is now a year and a half later and on Friday, March 25, 2011, Tom received treatment number 180. In my last blog about Tom, I listed the changes that we have seen since starting the hyperbaric oxygen treatments. We all decided that we won’t miss the trip to the hospital. On a great day, we could make it in one hour and fifteen minutes. On a bad day, the trip might take three hours and there were plenty of bad days. What we are going to miss the most are the people. Veronica and I agree that the people in athe hospital are extremely friendly and always made the time to wish us well.

I’d like to introduce you to some of the people that we saw on a regular basis. I am going to introduce them in the order in which we would see them each day.

Our first encounter was usually with Wylie Shillingford (right). He is a security specialist at the hospital and one of the sweetest people that we know. He always went out of his way to help us with anything and took a keen interest in Tom. He would often comment on the changes that he saw in Tom over time. Liz Cole is a receptionist and we didn’t get to speak to her often but she always waved and gave us a smiling good morning or have a great day on our way out.

Our trip took us to the elevators and a trip up to the fifth floor. This was the home to Life Support Technologies Group and their hyperbaric oxygen chambers. Let me begin by saying that if not for its president, Glenn Butler, Tom would not have received the treatment that he did and all in our family offer him our heartfelt thanks. We will never be able to repay what he did for us. As we made our way down the hallway to the chamber facility, we would see Gerry Koinig, the Information Technology Specialist and web master. Gerry and I are both computer geeks and we had lots to talk about.

Next was the chamber facility itself. We met some amazing people. What really irks me is that I didn’t take the opportunity to take pictures of some of the people that we met there and then moved on to other facilities. Three that jump into my mind are Manny, James (who had a love for horror movies as does Tom), Jonathon, Alex and Mark.


I did get photos of the people who were there in the last week of Tom’s treatments. The reason his treatment ended was because a new group was taking over the floor where the hyperbaric unit is located and they have their own chambers.

Pat Rooney is the Operations and Training Coordinator for the facility and an unbelievably sweet and bubbly person.

She really liked Tom and gushed over him every chance that she had. We will all really miss her.

During the last week, the hyperbaric chamber technicians bounced around a bit. One of the days, our two techs were Migdalia Robles and Lisa Feldman – both incredibly sweet and caring people.

On another day, bubbly Amanda Previdi was the hyperbaric chamber technician.

Tom had two primary doctors during his year and a half of treatments. The first was Dr. Michael Finkelstein. On the door to his office was a sign “Beware of Attack Doctor.” You certainly knew when he was around but you also knew that he did his best to help everyone. He moved on to another facility and we were pleasantly surprised to run into him during our last week.

After Dr. Finkelstein left, Tom’s treatments were supervised by Dr. Mahdi Abdullah, a gentle and caring person. He always went out of his way to see us and to check on Tom’s progress.

There is another doctor that is doing a research paper on Tom but we didn’t get to see him when I had the camera. He is Dr. Noori S. Al-Waili, the Director of Clinical Research for Life Support Technologies Group.

While Tom was undergoing his two-hour chamber treatment, Veronica and I would head down to the snack bar and grab something to eat. Not having the daily snacks will be good for both of us but not seeing our two favorite waitresses will make us sad.

Janice Martinez worked the table area of the snack bar and she took care of us every day. They make a great pea soup there and she did her best to save some for me on Fridays. Keisha Williams worked the counter and interacted more with Veronica than me but she always had a great smile and a warm greeting. She is expecting her first child and we wish her all the best. There was another woman who worked there before Keisha. Her name is Vivian and she left the snack bar to be a New York State Correctional Officer.

I am not sure why I thought of this but when Tom was first injured, I did email updates every day for a year and a half. Tom’s chamber treatments lasted a year and a half. Just coincidence? Who knows.

Although this is the end of this part of Tom’s journey. It certainly is not the end of his journey. He has reached a fork in the road to recovery and has taken another path. We continue to pray that each of these paths brings him back to us completely.

So that’s the gang. We love them all and we will miss them all. We are going to try and stay in touch and keep them updated on Tom’s progress.

Thanks to all of you who follow Tom’s progress, offer encouragement and prayer. You are the best!

© 2011, Herb Segars. All rights reserved.


Copyright © 2011 Herb Segars Photography Blog

2 Comments so far »

  1. BettyAnn Cote
    6:18 pm on March 26th, 2011

    Tom, Lynda, Ronnie and Herb,

    We’re so thrilled to see how Tom’s progressed! Tom,your smile is over-the-top!! We’re also, so grateful to have met all the amazing people who have assisted you through this part of your journey. Kudos to your angel of a wife, Lynda, and your awesome parents!

    Godspeed you to more leaps in your recovery!

    Love Hugs, and Angel Kisses

    BettyAnn and Roland

  2. Colleen Moomey
    6:30 pm on March 26th, 2011

    So GREAT that Tom is doing sooo much better!! Hope he make more great strides in his recovery.

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About Author

Herb Segars is a photographer who specializes in wildlife and marine subjects. He lives in Brick, New Jersey, USA with his wife, Veronica. Herb spends a great deal of time SCUBA diving and photographing in the nutrient rich Atlantic waters off his home state of New Jersey.

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